– The Image of God Series –
ON PURPOSE . POWER . PREJUDICE . PEOPLE
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The BIG IDEA
Everyone has power, is yours being used for good or bad?
God gave us power but because of sin, power is often abused.
Recognize our power and decide what we are going to do with it based on what God tells us in the Bible.
Why THIS MATTERS
God gives us the choice of how to use the power he has given us. If we do not use our power God’s way then we end up hurting others or ourselves.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: Everyone has power and can use it for good or bad.
- EXPERIENCE: A Biblical view of the power God has given us and discovering how he wants us to use it.
- DO: Use the power God gave for the benefit of others instead of using it to help ourselves.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leaders like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
GET AN IDEA I SHARE AN IDEA
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Talk through these three questions in your group:
- What are three ways that someone has power over you?
- What are three ways that you have power?
- What is one example of how someone else has used their power to help you?
*Everyone has power to use for the good of others, but because of sin, power is often abused. Let’s take a look at the story of Esther in the Bible and how power was used in her situation.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
The book of Esther has some great things to teach us about power. Here is a summary of the book of Esther:
*Esther was born almost 500 years before Jesus. She was Jewish, an orphan, and lived with her cousin Mordecai in Persia which is now called Iraq. As a teenager, Esther and other young women were taken from their homes to the palace of King Xerxes because he was looking for a new wife. Because of her great beauty, Esther was summoned to be groomed as a possible wife for the King. In Persia, Jewish people were looked down upon and faced constant threats to their lives because they were from another country and did things differently. Because of this, Esther did not reveal her heritage as a Jew to the palace officials.
Esther was chosen as the king’s new wife but continued to receive help and encouragement from her cousin Mordecai.
King Xerxes gave much of his power to Haman, his assistant who hated the Jews. Haman was angered by Mordecai, who as a Jew refused to bow down to him. From there Haman made a plan to kill the Jewish people and wipe out their entire nation.
*1. What is power?
After everyone has given their ideas, read this definition to the group. Power is the ability or authority to influence the behavior of others, or the political or social authority to control others.
*2. Read Esther 3:1-2. In the book of Esther both Haman and Esther had power. Where did Haman’s power come from?
He was appointed by the king who gave him authority to make important decisions.
*3. Read Esther 4:14-16. Where did Esther get her power and how was it different from Haman’s power?
Esther listened to the wisdom of Mordecai and fasted, which in Jewish culture was a time of listening to God, confessing your sins and seeking his help. This gave her the strength to speak to the king on behalf of her people. Haman used his power for selfish reasons and only wanted to make himself great.
4. Read Esther 7:9. What was the end result for Haman?
Haman misused his power and as a result he died the death he had prepared for Mordecai.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
5. Who has power?
Everyone. All people have some ability to influence others whether it be their family, friends, or teammates. Ask for examples of people the students know who have power either over them or in the culture as a whole.
*6. In what ways do you have power?
The power to stand up for someone, or befriend someone who is an outcast. You have power over your own decisions, attitude, and behavior toward others. We have the power to choose to live for God or live how culture tells us we should live.
7. What are examples of people using power for good in the world?
Standing up for those being bullied, or who have been unjustly treated. Also noticing when others are in need and using your power to help them.
*8. What are examples of people using power for bad in the world?
Some examples are students who bully other students at school or online, authorities who use their power to hurt people, gangs who commit violent acts, or in many countries people who kidnap others to use them for selfish purposes.
9. Do you tend to use your power for good, bad, or not at all? Explain.
Encourage the group to tell of a time when they used their power for good, bad, or stayed silent when they could have spoken up for something or someone.
*10. Can you think of a way that you, like Esther, can use your power for the good of others this week?
Encourage the group to think of ways to use their power for good at school, at home, or on social media. Remind them that, like Esther, we can be most effective when we invite God to give us the wisdom and the power to do the right thing.
*In the end, Esther, who had access to the king, showed great courage as she and her cousin Mordecai came up with a plan to save their people. Haman died in the same way he planned to kill the Jews. Esther used her faith in God and her courage to save her people from further persecution and death.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.
“Haman” is misspelled a number of times in this study (“Hamon”).
Thanks Bill. We’ll get that fixed!